Monkeypox infections have soared in Bolivia at an average of two daily infections for a total of 37 cases by Thursday, it was reported in La Paz. The spread has also reached 3 of the country's 9 departments after 100% of the infections were only in Santa Cruz just 4 days before. By Aug. 18, Santa Cruz had 35 cases, La Paz 1 and Potosi 1. No recovered patients have been reported yet.
After these announcements, health authorities have agreed to strengthen epidemiological surveillance and containment.
The first case of monkeypox in Bolivia was confirmed Aug. 1 in Santa Cruz, a 38-year-old patient who was reported to be stable.
Epidemiologist Guillermo Cuentas told Xinhua that, if this dynamic of contagions per day of monkeypox continues, in a few days there could be an explosion of cases. The daily numbers of monkeypox cases being reported are worrying. We must strengthen biosecurity measures, surveillance, control, and epidemiological blocking with the detection of suspected cases in a timely manner, he said.
National Director of Epidemiology Freddy Armijo said that they were working on containment to prevent any further spread of the disease.
Health Minister Jeyson Auza underlined that brigades had been deployed across 9 departments to up prevention, containment, and mitigation strategies. He also said that before the arrival of monkeypox emergency measures had already been implemented, such as the issuance of protocols and a handbook to coordinate procedures by departmental health services for timely treatment.
Bolivia's National Institute of Health Laboratories (INLASA) in La Paz, and the National Center for Tropical Diseases (CENETROP) in Santa Cruz, are fully equipped and supplied to detect monkeypox, Xinhua also reported.